Patterns to Build Robust and Highly Available APIs

Patterns to Build Robust and Highly Available APIs

This article will explore a couple of good practices that help in developing highly available, robust APIs.

An API is the building block of any client-server communication because it helps exchange information in the form of a request-response pattern. In any distributed system, it becomes immensely important to build APIs that are robust in nature and highly available even in the face of a network issue.

This article will explore a couple of good practices that help in developing highly available, robust APIs.

Idempotency

In the face of a network failure, the API design must be expected to provide a response in a consistent way when the system comes back up. This is one of the most common issues in a distributed systems world where a failure either on the client or server side leads to a retry on the API operation. In such scenarios, APIs should be built in an idempotent way. As many times as you call the API with identical requests, the response will remain the same. In other words, the effect of the request on the server will remain the same as if only a single request was made.

This can be achieved by using idempotency keys. During client-server communication, the client will generate a unique key to identify a request and send it to the server. In case of failure, if the client retries the same request, the server can reply back with the previously cached result if it has already seen the idempotency key of the operation.

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